History and Personal Decisions
Day 1 – Thoughts on Matthew, Chapters 1 and 2
(Reading done Matthew Chapters 1-3)
I desire to observe Lent by reading at least one chapter from the Gospels every day. Today I read Matthew Chapters 1 to 3, and want to record a few thoughts. (This is not meant to be a detailed Bible study, just a few of my thoughts on the passages.)
The first is that: history matters. Our personal family history matters. The gospel of Matthew begins with the genealogy of Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus. I feel blessed to know my family’s history on both sides, thanks to an aunt who did the family history on my father’s side, and a cousin who did it on my mother’s. Knowing where we came from helps to teach us who we are.
Out personal decisions matter. Joseph had decided to divorce Mary, but changed his mind after hearing from an angel. He married her, providing protection for her and her soon-to-be born son. It is interesting to note that the angel told Joseph not to be afraid to take Mary as his wife. This seems to suggest that had he divorced her, it would have been due to fear. Joseph obeyed the angel, giving the name Jesus to the new baby, as the angel had suggested.
Today, many Christians believe we can be led by the Holy Spirit in our decisions. We need to take time to ponder, to listen to the Lord.
Matthew 1 is a personal chapter, dealing with one man’s lineage and his very personal decision: the choice of a wife. Politics gets involved in chapter 2, as wise men from the east, come to Jerusalem to worship the newly born King of the Jews. They had been guided by a star, but went to Jerusalem to see King Herod, to ask about the baby. “When King Herod heard this, he was deeply disturbed and all Jerusalem with him” (Matt. 2:3). King Herod found out where the baby should be born and sent the wise men to worship him, telling them to report back to him. After their visit with Herod, the star appeared, and led them to the boy, who may have been two years old. The wise men worshiped, but did not return to Herod. They were warned in a dream not to do so.
King Herod flew into a rage when he realized he had been outwitted by the wise men. He then ordered the killing of every male child in and around Bethlehem. This sad act fulfilled a prophesy that is recorded in Jeremiah 31:15. Jesus was protected because Joseph obeyed when an angel told him to take his young family and flee to Egypt. This was again to fulfill prophecy.
Joseph’s obedience impacted history. It also fulfilled prophecy.
I need to realize that obedience matters in a major way. I need to realize that my personal decisions matter. My part is God’s plan is far smaller than Joseph’s, but still it needs to be done.
Join me in spending extra time with our Lord this Lenten season. Let’s listen, obey and fulfill what God has called us to do.
(Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible, Copyright 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible, Holman CSB and HCSB are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.)